Pharaoh, Prax

From: Stephen Martin (ilium@juno.com)
Date: Sun 01 Feb 1998 - 08:17:12 EET


Peter Metcalfe:
>>Would it contradict anything if the Pharaoh's (final) death occurred in

>>Earth season, Week of Life in that year 1616? (the Year Ritual should
>>logically happen around that date, I suppose)

>The only information we have is that the Pharaoh 'disappears'. Being
>slain in a year king ritual and not rising again would tend to give
>the impression that the Pharaoh is dead and not disappeared.

This statement is not quite true -- although the text on page 48 of the
Genertela Book says only that the Pharaoh disappeared, in the Timeline
right below this it states that in 1616 occurred the "Mysterious death
and disappearance of the Pharaoh." Immediately after stating that the
Pharaoh "disappeared," the main text goes on to say that a Tournament of
the Masters of Luck and Death failed to produce a body. To me, the
wording implies that the Pharaoh's "death" seemed more or less normal for
the times when his body is used up. What was unusual and mysterious was
that the Tournament failed to produce the Pharaoh in a new body, as
usual.

Elsewhere in that book it is stated that Jar-eel "arranged the capture
and spiritual dismemberment of the Pharaoh and his household."

Thus, although "death" may not be exactly the right word in the question
asked, it is certainly close enough in spirit to cut Frederic some slack
and just answer his question.

I believe that the Pharaoh, like many Gloranthan heroes, has his own
star, which flared into existence when Belintar became Pharaoh, in 1318.
IMG, when the Pharaoh was dismembered his star exploded into six visible
pieces. One flew east, one west, one north, and one south. One fell
crashing to earth, and no one in Kethaela saw what happened to the sixth
piece. When the Pharoah flew in the different directions, each was
captured in a specially-prepared prison created for it by Jar-eel. Five
of them were related to the standard elements, the sixth was a special
Lunar prison.

Richard Develyn asks lots of questions about Praxians
Before you start, Richard, you should make sure that you have access to
Tales of the Reaching Moon #s 14 and 15, and The Book of Drastic
Resolutions, Volume Prax. Between them, they have the cults of Eiritha
and Waha, a lot of Spirit Cults, approximate percentages of each tribe
worshiping each of the Praxian deities, notes on the various tribes, and
a whole lot more.

As to which tribes are likely to be in the Weiss Cut area, that depends a
lot on what year your campaign is set in -- after 1610 until about 1624,
Bison and Impala are less common, because they are mostly confined to the
Wastes, and Sables are more common. Morocanth tend to stay in wetter
areas, so they are common as well. In the 1616 timeframe, at least
according to Borderlands, the Agimori are around this area, and
occasional groups of all the other tribes can be found here at different
times (including Bison and Impala, though they are being risky).

Before 1610, any tribe is likely. After 1624, any tribe is likely.

>I know that Morokanth and Agimori are dominant

This is only true at a certain point in time; it is not a given that this
tribe of agimori, who ARE nomadic, will stay near the Weiss area for many
years. Really, you pretty much have a free choice of who you want to
place here. Praxians are NOMADS, after all.

>I've had a go at figuring out a large Bison clan, and I've tended to
>think of them as Waha/Eiritha traditionalists. The Rhino clan I might
>associate more with Storm Bull. Sables have Lunar connections now and
>Impalas seem open minded (cult-wise).

Drastic: Prax has cult availability tables for Praxians, based on 3 or 4
different version of Chaosium tables plus my own feelings. Keep in mind
that this is a generic set of percentages; Praxians actually living in
Prax for more than a year are likely to have a higher percentage of
worship of Orlanthi and Lunar deities, and probably of Storm Bull as well
(due to their closeness to the Block). There is also a list of which
spirits I think are favored by each of the tribes.

>Not a lot of temples around apart from Horn Gate, I guess.

And there is not really a temple there, either. There is a large shrine
or very small temple to Chalana Arroy there, but that is about it. And
this is not true before 1610, which is when the Pavis Chalana Arroys
mostly come here, to get away from the Lunars. The only real temples in
all of Prax are in Pavis, at the Paps, and at the Block. The altars and
oases are not temples, though they are more powerful than normal shrines
because of their inate magic.

At one point, I was going to include correspondences of Spirit Cults to
the various oases and altars, but I ran out of space in the article. So,
I include my idea of which spirits are most commonly worshiped at the
various holy places in Prax, keeping in mind that _any_ of them can be
worshiped at _any_ of these places.

FAVORED SPIRIT CULTS OF THE SACRED PLACES OF PRAX

ALL OASES AND ALTARS (i.e., not Adari, Barbarian Town, Big Rubble, Condor
Crags, Jaldon's Point, Obscure Plinth, and Tada's High Tumulus) --
Ronance, River Horse, Frog Woman

ADARI -- as normal for the inhabitants (i.e., can be troll, Praxian, or
Orlanthi)
AGAPE -- Malia, Night Woman, Dew Maid
BARBARIAN TOWN -- Pure Horse Founder, Good Shepherd, Lightning Boy,
Thunder Bird, Orlanthi Spirit Cults
THE BIG RUBBLE -- Iffinbix, Yojarl Third-Eye, the Seventeen Foes of Waha,
Great Rhino, Sun Dragon
BIGGLE STONE -- Mee Vorala
CAM'S WELL -- Camenura
"CORFLU" -- Zola Fel, Cleansed One, Gorakiki-Dragonfly, Rainbow Girl
CONDOR CRAGS -- Condor
DAY'S REST -- the Protectresses, Good Shepherd
HORN GATE -- Chan-Rolla (pronounced Chan Roya), Bronze Treasure, Morning
Star, Ostrich Mother (actually, Viskoz Mountain, which is nearby)
JALDON'S POINT -- no Spirit Cult summoning is possible here
MALIA'S STOOL -- Malia, Thed, all chaos; Hyena, Condor
MONKEY RUINS -- Oakfed, Monkey King
MOONBROTH -- Moonbroth, Wild Hunter, Bronze Treasure; since the coming of
the Lunars, the Star Twins have also been worshiped here
OBSCURE PLINTH -- no Spirit Cult summoning is possible here
PAIRING STONE -- Dark Eater, Grandmother of Spiders, Thunder Bird, Sun
Hawk, Silver Deer, Pole Star, White Princess
PIMPER'S BLOCK -- Lightning Boy, the Protectresses, Evening Star
SOG'S RUINS -- Sog; lately, broos have been gathering here
SUN DOME (if the nomads could get to the holy place) -- Sun Hawk, Raven,
Hyena (I don't remember why), Morning Star, Evening Star

TADA'S HIGH TUMULUS -- no Spirit Cult summoning is possible here
TOURNEY ALTAR -- Lightning Boy, Pole Star, Thunder Bird, Bronze Treasure,
Monkey King, the Iron Man
WINTER RUINS -- White Princess, Raven, Thunder Bird

SPECIAL -- the Father of Independents can generally only be worshiped at
one of a few special places on the edge of the Dead Place, all of which
are generally known to the shamans of the tribes, but are kept secret
from outlanders. Also, the various Great Spirits (Wild Hunter, Zola Fel,
Dark Eater, and Oakfed) can generally only be worshiped by the Praxians
at the locations specified above. The actual shamanic cults which worship
these entities have no such limitation.

Finally, note that only Brother Dog and Foundchild of the main Spirit
Cults have no particular places associated with them in myth, and seem to
have no oases or altars which they prefer to others, or at which they
have been more often contacted throughout the ages.

The Theme/Plot Hook
>Discovering a very old temple.
Actually, what you have described sounds like it would fit a lot better
on the other side of the river, at the Five Eyes Temple. If the route
down to the river were there, the occupation of this cave complex by the
newtlings (and yes, for those of you who haven't guessed it yet, this is
from the Borderlands pack) fits your description perfectly.

>This is where I need the greatest help. I'm willing to go for anything
>that fits in, that takes me around this area, and that ultimately
>results in some major quest being undertaken by the PCs.

Finding a piece of Genert is always a good thread, because any good
Praxian tribe is going to want to send someone to the mystical Growing
Mound so that it can be added to the parts already gathered there. This
Mound is, of course, probably located in or near the Krjalki Bog or, just
to be mean, perhaps in the Copper Sands.

Stephen Martin
ilium@juno.com
- -----------------------------------------------
The Book of Drastic Resolutions
drastic@juno.com

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